Youth Pastoral Ministry

With hope for the future: Card. Kevin Farrell opens the Youth Pastoral Care Congress 2024

To the 300 participants also the presentation of the next Youth Jubilee and WYD Seoul 2027


The International Congress on Youth Ministry organised by the Dicastery for the Laity, the Family and Life (DLFL) commenced this morning, on 23 May 2024.

Around 300 participants from 110 countries around the world, including representatives of youth ministry offices and commissions of national and regional Bishops' Conferences, are meeting to reflect together on the theme “For a synodal youth ministry: new leadership styles and strategies”.

Young people protagonists for a young again to be Church

After the opening prayer, His Eminence Card. Kevin Farrell – the Prefect of the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life – welcomed everyone and invited them to look at what was (WYD Lisbon 2023), was is (the 5th anniversary of Christus vivit and the preparation for the Youth Jubilee 2025), and what will be in 2027 (WYD Seoul 2027). Through these stages, youth ministry is called to renew itself in a synodal style by being open to the Holy Spirit – as called for by Christus vivit: “It is precisely young people who can be the main agents of renewal so that the Church can 'unblock' itself and become young again (cf. ChV, 34) ”. The Holy Father states in Christus vivit: “Let us ask the Lord to free the Church from those who would make her grow old, encase her in the past, hold her back or keep her at a standstill” (ChV, 35). “So, let us be open to young people,” Card. Farrell concluded, “and also open to the future with hope! A great task is entrusted to them. The Holy Father describes it in forceful words, and with these words I end my speech; the Pope says: ‘Dear young people, make the most of these years of your youth. Don’t observe life from a balcony. […]  Let yourselves be heard! Cast out the fears that paralyze you so that you don’t become mummified youth. Live! Give yourselves over to the best of life! Open the door of the cage, go out and fly! Please, don’t take early retirement’ (ChV 143). I wish you all the best in your journey together.”

The fruits of WYD Lisbon 2023, the Youth Jubilee in 2025, and the next WYD Seoul 2027

His Eminence Card. Americo Aguiar also greeted the participants, expressing thanks for all the gratitude received during the preparation and development of WYD Lisbon 2023: “We did everything and gave everything to bring about a meeting of young people from all over the world. A meeting among themselves, a meeting with Pope Francis, but above all a meeting with the living Christ. Did it happen? We don't know, there are no statistics to answer us about the greatest challenge of every World Youth Day. Each of the more than 1,600,000 pilgrims who came to Lisbon during that first week of August 2023 will know deep in their hearts. Personally, I know they did. I know it in my heart, since I gave my life to Him. And He knows everyone, He knows about each one in particular, as only a Father can know”.

The morning session continued with an address by His Excellency Monsignor Rino Fisichella, Pro-Prefect of the Dicastery for Evangelization, who presented the Jubilee of Youth 2025. The afternoon featured a presentation by the Local Organising Committee (COL) of WYD Seoul 2027, with a presentation led by H. Exc. Mosgr. Peter Chung Soon-taick, Archbishop of Seoul. Holy Mass presided over by His Eminence Card. Aguir closed the first day of the Congress.

Tomorrow – the second day – participants will divide into sharing groups in accordance with a synodal discernment method.

23 May 2024